Okay, trying to catch up here. Hopefully, posting two today will alleviate some of the guilt I feel for having such a huge backlog!
This particular dress was made right before Thanksgiving. I remember this, because I wanted to wear it to my friends' house for Thanksgiving, but the results did not allow it. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself, because this was my first wiggle dress. After recently hopping onto the "Mad Men" bandwagon (I'm in the middle of Season 3), I was really excited to make it. Disappointment is worse when you're really excited about a particular project.
Presenting the highlight reel for McCall's 6978 from 1963:
1.) FABRIC: I used a synthetic suede fabric from Joann's (really getting sick of their selection, or lack thereof). I was nervous to sew it, because I fell absolutely in love with it when I saw it and was in awe of its beauty. The texture and color reminded me of a really swank vintage couch. It seemed like it would make for a wiggle dress with an edge. But... there's an important lesson here. No matter, how much you love the fabric, use some sense already, ASTRID! Why, oh why, did I use a fabric that had NO STRETCH for a wiggle dress. I can hardly walk in the thing! When I was trying it on after it was finished, I dropped something, and I had to ask my husband to pick it up for me. Now, I know that wiggle dresses can be a little awkward, but if there was some stretch, I could have managed. This is bloody ridiculous. The fabric is so stiff, it hurts to bend my elbows.
You can hardly see the "V" shape on the front. Maybe I shouldn't have used black.This isn't the first time my fabric choice was really stupid. But, I've finally developed a theory as to why I make these mistakes: Joann's selection of colors, prints, and textures is so limited that I end up picking a wrong material, because I can't find the right material in the right color, print, or texture. I go against my best judgment, because something "shiny" catches my eye, and I can't find it in a material that will work. I've tried to explore other fabric stores locally, but most just sell upholstery fabric. One in my neighborhood has really cool prints, but only in a 100% cotton material that reminds me of quilting fabric (which I don't care to use). Several projects from this one, I started buying fabric online and have been happy with the results. More on that later, though.
2.) FRONT SEAMS/RAGLAN SLEEVES: I am pretty sure I'll never sew raglan sleeves again. I probably said this already and then did it again, but this time I mean it. I've set aside all my patterns with raglan sleeves and will be reselling them. With the suede cloth, the raglan sleeves kept bunching at the armpit. Plus, they were too baggy for me, and when I tried to adjust them, the bunching only got worse. I know...I know...I should be doing a FBA, but I've found that isn't necessary for me with most 34B patterns. When I have shoulder seam problems with set in sleeves, I just cut the shoulder shorter, so the sleeves don't fall off my shoulders. That works perfectly. This pattern, though, probably needed a FBA. Why won't I learn FBA? I don't see it as having enough utility for the kind of styles I'm making, since I've already figured out a way to fix almost 100% of shoulder problems I run into. Raglan sleeves have been one of the few exceptions. I'm not that wild about how they look on me, so I don’t consider avoiding them a big loss.
It doesn't LOOK bad... if only I could move...
3.) HAIR STYLING: Unfortunately, my normal everyday look doesn't really match the Mad Men/pin-up style. I have long straight hair, and I have no idea how to curl it in a way that would make it look late 50's/early 60's. Most women in that era didn't have hair nearly as long as mine, so I question whether styling my hair in that manner is even possible. Plus, my hair is really fine and hates the curling iron. That doesn’t help.
4.) ACCESSORIES: For some reason, this dress just does not look like the right era. I think it's my hair, but I'm not sure. Perhaps if someone with the right hairstyle wore the dress, it would look Mad Men-esque. I tried to add accessories such as the beret, red belt, and red shoes. Those did help. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that this dress was looking kind of 80's instead of 50's or 60's. Anyone have any ideas? Is it my long straight hair being incongruous with that era that is causing the problem? Is the Mad Men style wrong for my "look"?
Take the picture already. My elbows hurt!
5.) GATHERING: I omitted the instructions to "gather" at the waist. I think I know how to do that now, but it didn't really affect the outcome to omit it.
So, what's the lesson here? You probably shouldn't make a dress you can't move in. Yeah, don't do that.